If we’re going to pursue relational poverty alleviation ministry that aims toward long-term development, one of the main outcomes we’re looking for from ministry participants is learning. We want to see the people we’re walking with learn new skills, rediscover their dignity, and grow in their capacity to navigate the complexities of life.
God made the world out of love, and redeems us through His love expressed in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. He made us to enjoy loving relationships with Him, with ourselves, with others, and with the rest of His creation. Because of this, our work to walk with people in material poverty needs to be relational and participatory in nature, working together with people out of love, not merely doing things for them. True relationships are a two-way street. We give and receive.
Chalmers is opening enrollment for our next Ambassador cohort. Anyone with strong experience in relational poverty alleviation ministry and a solid background in the core principles of When Helping Hurts is welcome to apply to get certified and join our network!
During the past 22 years, in addition to publishing books about poverty alleviation, Chalmers has been creating training for use in both the U.S. and the Majority World (of Africa, Asia, and Latin America). These field-tested programs are built on God’s story of change and community development best practices to help you put a biblical framework for addressing poverty into practice.
When Helping Hurts has had a lasting influence on Water Mission. In fact, the organization requires all new staff to read it, from their leadership team to those working directly in the field. It’s critical that every team member, not just program staff, understand these principles and recognize that they do not have all of the answers to “solve” poverty.
When Pastor Marty transitioned from a bi-vocational pastor to full-time ministry, he wasn’t confident he could live in a financially sustainable way. He wanted to live a life pleasing to God, but he didn’t know how to provide for his family and his church.
From the doctor’s office to the dinner table.
See how Chalmers principles have become woven into the fabric of the Fitch family’s everyday life.
What happens when someone wants work but can’t find it? What happens when “the one who has been stealing” wants to do “something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” (Eph. 4:28), but can’t get a job? What happens when they find work, but it is so temporary, unsteady, or poorly paid that they can’t even get off government assistance, much less have something left over to share?
But how does work, work, when it comes to poverty alleviation? What makes helping people find and keep good jobs such a crucial piece of long-term economic development efforts?
Let’s start with a question: Why do you work? What difference does work make in your life? In your family? What would you do without work?
Enabling people in material poverty to engage in work that pays a living wage is the most sustainable way for them to no longer be materially poor. But work is so much more than just a means to gaining income that provides for our material needs. It lies close to the heart of what it means to be human.
There’s an idea out there that giving money to a poverty alleviation ministry is a cop out to being personally engaged in the ministry. But those directly involved in on-the-ground development ministries have a different view—that the most relational thing many people can do to help end poverty is actually writing checks to organizations that do effective, asset based, participatory development.
What we do when we return home from a short-term mission trip is an important part of healthy short-term ministry.
The past couple of weeks, we’ve shared some of the keys to starting an effective benevolence ministry through your church or ministry. Often, however, the process of creating or redeveloping a benevolence ministry isn’t linear.
One of the most important factors in a sustainable ministry model is creating a system for how you handle new requests. We call this an intake process. Having a plan that everyone follows takes the stress out of benevolence, for deacons or staff, for volunteers, and for applicants.
One of the most important questions that we should ask as we engage in any kind of poverty alleviation work is “What is poverty?” Because the way that we diagnose the problem determines the solutions that we used to alleviate the problem.
God is bringing a kingdom far more real than any earthly power or authority we experience today. That kingdom calls Christians to embrace a whole life of economic discipleship by which we learn to live as economic citizens of God’s kingdom.
If you’re involved in outreach or mercy ministry, you might wonder how to go about finding, equipping, encouraging and retaining volunteers to assist in this long term ministry.